How vast and wide are the Lords ways. So much higher than our minds can fathom. His love overwhelms my soul. I was just a few years old in Christ, in 1991, when Diane Ontiveros came knocking at my door. I had gone on a three day fast for the very first time, and dramatically thought I might die of starvation. But I wanted more of Jesus and less of me, so I was going for it, just having read Isaiah 58 on the awesome benefits of fasting. It was unusual to see Diane. She and her husband played ‘keep away’ from the Christian neighbors. They barely said ‘Hi’ or ‘Bye’ to us. Stranger still, to see her in tears at my door. She told me she needed a friend and when she prayed, God told her to come see me. She stepped through the door, and into my heart forever.
It was a serious subject. One I was very familiar with. I had lived out the dark side of it. Diane didn’t know that. God did. There is no such thing as coincidence. She was steeped in the dilemma of wanting an abortion due to rocky circumstances in her marriage. How could she take care of a baby and three small boys on her own? I listened to her heart, and then I simply shared my story. The deer in the headlight story, with all the emotions that go with not having that beautiful baby to love on in this life, all because I didn’t trust that God would see us through.
She and I became excellent friends from that day forth. A mom bonding, born out of knowing God took care of a situation that was unbearable. She had her baby nine months later. Her beautiful Hannah. When I became pregnant with my third, she was so hopeful I just might have a girl too! She threw a surprise baby shower for me. Diane overflowed with a new joy! A new hope! When we allow God’s promises to rest within our soul, instead of creating those ripples of our own in the pool of life, God shows up and shows off in big ways.
More than I ever could have imagined, Hannah has played a huge role in my life to this very day. I began to catch a glimpse of the realization in 2011 when I was looking for Diane on Facebook, and found our Hannah. The seeds that flowers lose, create the bright, new beautiful flowers of tomorrow.
I asked Hannah if she was Diane’s daughter, and if so, to please let her mom know I wanted to get back in touch, after having moved up to Nor Cal for so many years. Here is Hannah’s direct response: “Yes, I am Hannah, and thanks to you I am here. Because of you, she (Mom) made the decision to keep me, and not have an abortion. Thank you for the right timing, and good advice.”
I would never have guessed Diane would share our story with Hannah. But that mighty woman of God blessed and empowered her daughter to know how great our God is, when Diane told her how He stepped into that fearful, unsure moment, and created a whole new bright chapter in Diane’s life! Her Father in heaven came to the rescue and gave Diane her Princess Hannah! (Princess is the family’s nickname for her)
The miracles don’t stop there. We moved back in 2014 and Hannah would connect with me off and on to pray with her. She let me know she was giving a speech in her college class about her mom keeping her, and asked if I would attend. She was sick that day, so it didn’t work out, but I prayed for her often, although we still hadn’t met as adults.
One day, Raul, my very first fifth son, that I had in daycare from the time he was a year old, (Raul, who calls me his second mama), got ahold of me, and asked how I knew Hannah? I told him I knew her through her mom. He shared with me that she told him about me, and how she knows she is here because I spoke into her mom’s life that day.
I am wowed by that for this reason that I give all glory to God for — That the Lord created a deep friendship, (they’ve known each other for years) between my fifth son, and that seed that God used me to plant in Diane’s heart so many years ago, that has now grown into the amazing flower of Hannah! Only God can do that! There is no such thing as coincidence. I’ve prayed for my Raul since he was a baby, and God brought Hannah along to be a solid friend who is able to speak hope into him. I tell you, the Lord plays the best chess game when he positions two people I’m deeply connected to, to flourish in this life together, as friends, in Christ. What a God!!
It doesn’t stop there. Hannah graduated, an honor roll student with two associate degrees, from Oxnard College, (my alma mater 😊) , and invited me to attend. I wouldn’t miss it for the world! Our miracle Hannah was graduating! I looked for her name in the commencement and was overwhelmed to see her middle name. When I was very young, I would write the name of the daughter I would want if I was able to have a girl. My whole young life I knew her name would be Elizabeth. It was my mom’s middle name, and it soothed my heart. Elizabeth. The name my eyes caught in that commencement. Of all names, the Lord knew how to bless me one more time, to feel I had a special part in this girl’s life. Hannah Elizabeth is a miracle and will do great and mighty things in the Lord! Mark my words. God’s plans are rich and amazing and breathtaking for us, His children.
A dear friend of mine, Nikki, who went to heaven far sooner than I would have liked, (I called her Mama), spoke of how God knits us all together like one big quilt, interacting and connecting, while covered and protected in His love. God knew back in 1992 as I shared with Diane, I still had a long way to go to get through the pain of that horrific nightmare, but our Great God, who makes all things beautiful in His time, still used me, to touch Diane’s life, in spite of those deep rooted, hard chains, that took another 10 years to break free from.